Das Kapital study group, session eight, Fall ’09, NYC. Chapter Three, special theme.
December 5, 2009
Our group convenes this week and begins with a discussion and celebration of the latest events from comrades in the West and the possibility of further accelerations of struggle in our own vicinity. We respond to a series of questions posed by a Greek bourgeois newspaper concerning their year of insurrection and revolt. Our attention then turns to our weekly collective study. This week we prepare to continue reading chapter three.
We review, recite and observe with a particular emphasis: the capital process is masked by its constant transformations into concrete particular modes of existence; the commodity’s dual aspects are masked by their existence in the equivalent and relative forms as only a use-value for the reciever and only an exchange value for the transmitter; the labor and marginal theory of value of the political economist is a mask that freezes time as opposed to the historically dynamic abstract and socially necessary labor time at the root of the value of products; capital’s money-form as wages for the proletariat mask their role in the circulation of variable capital as drafts for means of subsistence as opposed to money as disposition for productive consumption, for the capitalist; convention, culture and juridical activity mask the productive-historical factors that are behind them leading to bizaare rituals and value systems; markets mask the myriad shifts in supply and demand for countless productive activities which we lose track of and therefore control over, passively deferring to the inexorable spiral of self-valorization; exchange masks the intentions and concrete conditions of production; etc.
The commodity form shows us its poker face and remains silent, but all social activity, in this epoch, belongs to it and its relations. They chatter amongst themselves alone. Humans appear merely to have material relations with each other, standing by the rails while we watch and anticipate the movements of commodities, always trying to guess it’s next move. We come on the scene immediately encountered by this upside-down world and are confronted by only empty smiles, cold stares and stiff movements, animated only at the point of the automatic process of exchange and circulation: but what lies behind the poker face, what does it conceal that we cannot read, which might help us uncover a pattern more important than the next play? How can we affect capital and get it to sweat, that is, how can we get it to show what its got.. how can we make it hot?
The following is a video on the 8th session of a NYC Das Kapital study group. This group involves only communists directly engaged in the recent wave of occupations and the ideas which arose from them.
Filed in Solidarity, Theoretical Combat
Tags: capital, capitalism, commodity, commodity form, communism, greece, insurrection, kapital, marx, new school, new school reoccupied, occupy ca, occupy everything, social war, uc berkeley, ucsc, university occupations, Vienna